Judge Rules Espionage Has Extraterritorial Application

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Tuesday, October 1, 1985
Bruce Zagaris
In a ruling with potentially far-reaching implications, Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr., District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, denied a motion to dismiss by Michael A. Soussoudis, a Ghanian national accused of espionage acts that were allegedly committed in Ghana for the most part.  In denying the motion brought by Plato Cacheris, the prominent D.C. criminal attorney, Judge Bryan ruled that U.S. espionage laws apply to acts committed outside U.S. territory as well as to noncitizens.  Cacheris cogently contended that U.S, courts had no right and no authority to try Soussoudis for acts in Ghana, especially since the acts were intended to protect the peace and tranquility of Ghana, as contradistinguished from offending the U.S.